October is Marine Month and Cape fur seals dying of starvation
“All along the Dwarskersbos beach, you will find dead seals daily. Yesterday we counted 10. It's so heartbreaking”. A member of the public.
Mark Dixon, the manager of the Strandloper project that recently started out on a 10 day information gathering hike from Arniston to Grotto Beach in Hermanus, was one of the people actively involved in research and conservation to comment on the “dead or near dead Cape fur seals” currently washing up all along the coastline from Lamberts Bay to Hout Bay and as far afield as Knysna.
Dixon made the following disconcerting remark in this regard:
“On our recent expedition we recorded numerous dead seals and plenty of yearlings; this and a few other things do suggest that there is a shortage of food in the ocean, not only for the seals but for other species as well.”
We tend to take nature and all the creatures we have become accustomed to when we think about the sea and seaside holidays, for granted. One day, they might just vanish all together and who will be there to blame?